Chennai-based hydro fluorocarbons (HFC) company Refex Refrigerants Ltd has announced it is to begin supplying Tata Motors Ltd's car production plant in Pune, India.

The Indian refrigerant gases refiller and distributor will set-up 2 25-tonne storage tanks at the car manufacturer's plant with supplies expected to start early next year and the project a joint venture with Kaltech Engneering & Refrigeration Pte Ltd of Singapore.

Refex will lay pipelines from the storage tanks up to the point in the plant where air conditioners are fitted to the vehicles.

Anil Jain, managing director of Refex Refrigerants, said, $quot;The tanks are being built at an outlay of Rs80 lakh. Our gas will be used in the majority of the air conditioned cars rolled out of Tata Motor's Pune plant.$quot;

Refex is engaged in the business of refilling imported non-ozone depleting refrigerant gases, known as HFC's, which seek to replace the damaging chlorofluorocarbon gases (CFC's).

The deal with India's Tata Motors is the 2nd such deal the company has secured. It has also signed a contract with Hyundai Motor India Ltd to build another 2 25-tonne capacity storage tanks at the Korean manufacturers 2nd plant.

Jain adds, $quot;We will be the sole supplier for Hyundai Motor's 2nd plant and the revenue potential is around Rs12.5 crore per annum.$quot;

The setting-up of storage tanks alleviates the manufacturer of the task of managing several cylinders and requires less human resource, an idea first suggested by Refex and now accepted by a number of car companies. Jain explains the benefits as he says, $quot;In addition there is reduction in human cost as a single worker is sufficient to take care of the pipeline, in the place of 10 to haul the cylinders. Also, the factory unlocks ample space earlier occupied by cylinders.$quot;

Meanwhile, the company is believed to be progressing well with its expansion programme and plans to construct a plant in Tamil Nadu to manufacture HFC-based refrigerant gases in India by 2008.